Much More Complex

GafneyFrom Dr. Wil Gafney, the author of Womanist Midrash (2017), in her podcast interview with Peter Enns and Jared Byas:

If you take seriously that women have heard throughout the centuries that what is masculine in some context is more closely identified with God, that what is feminine is other, and we even go back into church fathers like Tertullian for whom women were the devil’s gateway. I mean, there’s a whole lot of theological work that’s heavily invested in God being male and exclusively male. In fact, there’s a text that says men are the image of God and women are the image of man or something. That sets up a whole world of church and theology that marginalizes women. Yet for people who come out of the community that I did–the black church–for whom it really matters, what does the Bible say? It matters that the biblical text says repeatedly that God’s gender identity is complex. Binary language is used because the Hebrew Bible has two options. Masculine and feminine. But God is presented in a much more complex way. And that matters when we’re talking about people and hierarchy, particularly when those earthly hierarchies are entrenched in gender which is then claimed to be based on God and the Bible.

Reading the Bible as a Trans-Affirming Ally

indexBy Mx Chris Paige

Reading the Bible while transgender involves sorting through many distortions and biased assumptions that have been passed along, both through tradion and translation. Often critics are so confident in their bias that they aren’t even looking at the text. My book, OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation, has only been out for a few months, so I am only beginning to encounter trolls, but I have already seen “conversations” devolve into “because I said so” non-arguments. Looking past the strident (and often ignorant) opposition is the first barrier to reading the Bible as a transgender-affirming ally. Continue reading “Reading the Bible as a Trans-Affirming Ally”

Transgender Liberation Invitation

indexThe Alternative Seminary, Transfaith,
and Germantown Mennonite Church
 Invite You to

 Transgender Liberation:
Intersectional Identities, Alternate Genders, and the Biblical Testimony of Eunuchs

 Saturday, November 2
10:00 am – 12:00 noon

 Germantown Mennonite Church
21 W. Washington Lane, Philadelphia

Mx Chris Paige (formerly publisher of The Other Side magazine) will present from their new book, OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation. Drawing on 25 years of transgender-affirming scholarship, Chris will invite us to expand our understanding of the 50 explicit uses of the word “eunuch” in the Christian Bible (many of which are obscured in translation), as well as other likely or perhaps eunuchs such as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In doing so, we will challenge one another to live more deeply into resistance from colonized gender ideology, white supremacy, and Christian empire. Continue reading “Transgender Liberation Invitation”

I Speak from the Deep Throated Voice of a Survivor

RubyBiography as Theology from the Front Porch of Mother Ruby Sales (posted to Facebook August 28, 2019).

My story which is both a Black story and an American one. It is a story shaped by more than fifty years of watching and wading in the ebb and flow of White supremacy in America. It is the story of both a survivor and freedom fighter who has experienced the best and worst of America.

Our story

“They are bringing drugs and sending their criminals.”

“Go back to where you come from.”

“Go back to your crime ridden neighborhoods.” Continue reading “I Speak from the Deep Throated Voice of a Survivor”

Relationship is not the Answer to Racism

Chanequa Walker BarnesFrom the blog of Chanequa Walker-Barnes, author of the upcoming release I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial ReconciliationWalker-Barnes is a theologian and psychologist whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for healing, justice, and reconciliation in the Christian church and beyond.

People often ask me how long it takes me to write a book. That’s a hard question to answer. With both of my books now, I spend years living the book before I sit down to write the book. I spent 10 years immersed in the Christian racial reconciliation movement, from 2006-2016. From the beginning, I was plagued by “Yes, but” moments, but that didn’t stop me from being all in. I loved being in spaces where diverse Christians had honest convo about race and racism. I had only experienced that previously in Black church spaces. Continue reading “Relationship is not the Answer to Racism”

relinquishing the patriarchy

3599EC8E-44F3-4B67-8C7A-4B49B90EA906-924x1024By adrienne maree brown, re-posted from her website.

dear men.

this is mostly a note to straight, cis men; but also includes trans men, queer men, and all who participate in masculinity – if you see yourself in these words, this is a love note to you.

patriarchy (the system of society/government in which men hold the power and women are excluded from it) is collapsing, and it’s time for you, too, to give it up, to get yourself out.

it won’t be easy.

i don’t believe total revolution or liberation happens in one generation, but i know from my own life and many lives i have witnessed and accompanied, that it is absolutely possible in your lifetime, in a generation, to personally relinquish an unjust ideology, to begin to practice a more evolved way of being.
Continue reading “relinquishing the patriarchy”

What We Learn in the Kitchen: An Introspection on the Black Queer Daughter

By Kendall Waterman, Re-shared from Geez magazine.

What_We_Learn_in_the_Kitchen_800_644_90
Amanda Greavette, “With Woman,”

“My mother connects me to a past I would have no other way of knowing. And in this sea of whiteness, of friends, enemies and strangers, I look at her and know who I am.”
– Michèle Pearson Clarke, Transition

Two minutes into a phone call with my mother and she has launched into a full review of her church’s leadership transition, recounting details of a recent board meeting in which she was obliged to provide her unique clarity.

“Visionaries need me, they can’t explain what they want but I can see it. If you shut up and leave me alone, I can make it happen.”

We go on to chat about a young family friend who just broke up with her first girlfriend.

“It’s a big mess. This is why God never designed women to be romantically involved with other women. Too many emotions.” Continue reading “What We Learn in the Kitchen: An Introspection on the Black Queer Daughter”

Pastoral Letter

8699828939_8a53b785ab_bBy Laurel Dykstra

in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage

My scarred and raging
weary-eyed beloveds

ordinary defiant
with your teaching-outfit selfies
purple hair
fancy waistcoats
songs in a new range
carpentry projects
surfboards
magic card tricks
raspberry canes

You are magnificent Continue reading “Pastoral Letter”

The Only Version of Heaven my God Has Given Me

DungyAn excerpt from The Sun Magazine‘s 2018 interview with poet and professor Camille Dungy.

I am a Christian who is sad that it is often difficult for me to say that I am a Christian. I believe in what I understand to be the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ: Love one another, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Justice and care and dangerous, radical kindness — I believe in all that. But I don’t believe that there is just one “right” Church. And I don’t believe in waiting to go to heaven to get my due…I’m going to fight for my due here and now, and for my daughter’s due. This is the only version of heaven that my God has given me, so this is where I am going to do my work. Continue reading “The Only Version of Heaven my God Has Given Me”

Mothering Behind Bars: A Conversation with Siwatu-Salama Ra

Mothering_Behind_Bars_800_250_90
Siwatu-Salama Ra and family, freesiwatu.org.

Re-share from Geez magazine.

Siwatu-Salama Ra is an environmental justice activist in Detroit, Michigan. Two years ago, she was arrested for pulling out a gun when someone violently threatened her two-year-old daughter. She was a licensed gun owner and never fired a shot. She was found guilty of felony firearm and given a two-year mandatory minimum sentence. She gave birth to her son while in prison. After serving eight months, she has been released on bond as she awaits her appeal. Her case raises many questions about self-defense, racial disparities in the justice system, and the treatment of incarcerated women. Her story also highlights the power of organizing and community. Lydia Wylie-Kellermann interviewed Siwatu while she was out on bond awaiting her appeal.

Geez: Could you start by introducing yourself and saying a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Siwatu-Salama Ra: My name is Siwatu-Salama Ra. I’m a daughter of a long-time community organizer and activist, Rhonda Anderson. I was raised by a single mother who raised all four of her children and grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. I followed a lot of what my mom did, and I started environmental justice work at about 14.

Recently, people have given me another title – a difficult title – of being a political prisoner. I was released from prison almost five months ago. I came home to a baby who was turning six-months-old, who I had given birth to in prison. And a three-year-old who is close to being four now. I left when she was two. Continue reading “Mothering Behind Bars: A Conversation with Siwatu-Salama Ra”